European loan market down but not out

Much has been made recently of the drop in activity in European loan market activity and the corresponding boom in bonds and equities, which was recently highlighted by Reuters columnist Alexander Smith in this article. But while the loan market is undoubtedly down, it is far from out. The flow of bond and equity issuance is feeding cash back into the loan market, and liquidity has clearly improved in the last month, allowing a number of deals to close oversubscribed.

I wrote this story summarising the stronger tone in the market and highlighting the relationship between the loan market and M&A financing which could quickly boost loan volume when M&A activity picks up.

Investment bank in hiring shock

Barclays Capital is thinking big. As Reuters banking correspondent Steve Slater wrote earlier:

“Barclays Capital, the investment bank arm of Britain’s Barclays Plc (BARC.L), will hire more than 750 staff this year as part of its plan to win leading positions in equities and M&A advisory, a top executive said.

“The bank, which bought the U.S. business of Lehman Brothers in September, is now expanding in Europe and Asia. It is also targeting a top three spot in prime services to take advantage of a retreat by rivals servicing hedge funds, he said.